Assam: Shield for State archaeological sites


GUWAHATI, April 17, 2018: A total of 24 new sites in the state will be taken up by  Assam directorate of archaeology including the 17th century Momai Kota Garh for protection and preservation.

Out of these 24 sites, two are in Kamrup (metro) district, one in Kamrup district, four each in Nagaon and Golaghat districts and 13 in Tinsukia district, an official source told the media.

Momai Kota Garh, located at Lankeswar here, is a rampart built by the Ahom army within a night under the leadership of legendary Ahom general Lachit Borphukan to ward off the Mughals and it is the only remnant of the historic Saraighat battle. History says Barphukan even beheaded his maternal uncle because he was dragging his feet on the rampart and from that it derived its name.

Another 17th-century rampart in the city that was included in the list is Lachit Garh at Gorchuk which was also built under the supervision of Borphukan.

The source said the battlefield of Alaboi, where the Assamese forces clashed with the Mughals in 1669 at Dodora in Kamrup district, will also be taken up for preservation.

Hundreds of mounds of earth, believed to be maidams (burial places) of the Assamese soldiers who embraced martyrdom fighting the Mughals at the Alaboi battle, were discovered in 2014.

Samdhara Garh at Samaguri and Pub Moiradhaj Mosque at Dhing in Nagaon district, maidams at Charingia in Golaghat district, Juriya maidams in Sadiya and Godha Barbarua rampart at Borhapjan in Tinsukia district were among these 24 sites selected by the directorate of archaeology. There are also several ancient ponds in the list such as Raja pukhuri (pond) and Rani pukhuri in Golaghat district besides Tinkunia pukhuri, Na-pukhuri, Bengmora pukhuri, Selukia pukhuri, Tezimola pukhuri, among others, in Tinsukia district.

"At present, demarcation of these sites is under process," the source said.

Currently, 121 archaeological sites and monuments in Assam are under protection of the state archaeology directorate which preserves archaeological sites, monuments, besides remains of historical and archaeological importance that are not less than 100-year-old.

The directorate is also carrying out excavation at Moiramora Than archaeological site in Dibrugarh since January and discovered ruins of an ancient temple.

"We have found pottery, British-era coins and dry flowers which were offered to the goddess," he said.

Source: The Telegraph

Featured image: Telegraph India